This article explores the ethical implications of how we treat landscapes. It lays out a three-part, temporal and ethical analysis of landscape architecture and concludes that without an analysis of and challenge to our assumed dominance over the natural world, we will never achieve a sustainable relationship to the landscapes that we inhabit and depend upon for our survival as a species.
The three-part analysis aligns different types of landscapes with duty, contract, and consequential ethics. Duty ethics often determines how we treat places that memorialize the past in some way, whether it be where our ancestors are buried or where wildlife are protected from human intrusion. Likewise, contract ethics typically defines how we typically approach contemporary landscapes, with property rights determining who gets to manipulate the land and what activities occur there. Finally, consequentialist ethics often drives our thinking about future landscapes, how we should judge our current behavior in terms of its expected consequences.
All of this leaves us with a dilemma: however ethical we might seem in our manipulation of landscapes, how can we justify our damage of habitat and extinction of other species while we accommodate our own needs? That question leads us to virtue ethics, which puts the emphasis not on our responsibilities in altering landscapes, but instead on changing our own expectations about ourselves and our needs. In other words, we cannot fulfill our responsibility to the natural world without challenging our own beliefs and values.
In the quest for modernization, China has embarked upon the construction of new university campuses. These new campuses are often planned in a way similar to the ‘Forbidden City’, isolated from the surrounding context. Under this model, most of the university resources are arranged within boundary walls and not allowed to be used by neighboring residents. This type of arrangement reinforces the politics of public-private separations and produces a discriminating urban policy of exclusion. While acknowledging the significance of boundary the paper speculates alternatives to the traditional master plan of university campus, through reexamining the current role of boundary in the bottom-up process and the production of shared resources. Instead of providing one-off design solutions, the alternatives reexamine a real-life condition as an evolving process and dynamic system through a set of strategies by which planners, urban designers, architects and landscape architects can use in redefining the boundary between public and private.
We used to believe that technologies were passive and neutral tools for people to achieve their goals. But now we start to realize that technologies have certain autonomy and dynamism. Technology has created the dynamic association of humans and the environment. With the progress of technology, neither designers nor inventors would be able to accurately predict the consequences of new technology. That is why technology today is a strong leading force.
The concept of design ethics was first put forward by Victor Papanek in 1960s. It is a rethinking for the commercial design excessively valuing consumption as well as ignoring the environment and users' experience, which has influenced the western design theory deeply. This interview discussed the core content of design ethics, and the relationship between ethical thinking and design practice.
The word “landscape”, as well as its meaning in the western history of landscape, has something to do with the symbol of power. The word has seemingly countless ties with “nature”, but both the original reference of “landscape” and the landscape garden that rose later has the attentive eye for power hidden inside. By analyzing the development history of the word “landscape,” this paper will highlight the different concepts of "landscape" between the eastern and the western world, and make criticism of "ocularism" in current design of landscape.
This dialogue emphasized the importance of exploring multiple impacts of urban landscapes on human health. We identified four main aspects of research on this topic: (1) The importance of this issue; (2) Empirical evidence regarding connection between landscape and human health; (3) How urban landscape influences social interactions; (4) The health benefits of contacting with nature. In the end, we discussed how to develop an international education collaboration in this field.
With the continuous development of urbanization in China, excessive exploitation and use of natural resources and extensive industrialization have resulted in land pollution and environmental degradation, and triggered a series of environmental safety issues associated with brownfield regeneration. A considerable amount of practice has been carried out across the world in the field of landscape architecture. Brownfield regeneration urges us to recognize environmental ethics in seeking harmony between human and nature. By comparing and studying the similarities and differences between Chinese and foreign brownfield regeneration projects, this paper aims to provide insights from the perspective of environmental ethics to help us confront with the challenges from current and future brownfield regeneration practice.
Torre David, the third tallest building in Venezuela, stands at an impressive 45 floors in the heart of Caracas’ former central business district. In the wake of the 1994 Venezuelan banking crisis the developer passed away and the financial group supporting the construction collapsed, leaving the building abandoned and a magnet for squatters. Today it is the improvised, continually revised home for more than 750 families living as a self-organized community in what some have called a vertical slum. The project team designed interventions to improve the residents’ living conditions, reduce energy consumption and render the structure self-sufficient.
McGregor Coxall was appointed to develop a master plan, financial model and plan of management for the 61 hm2 Callan Park site in Rozelle. It has a history as one of the most politically sensitive and contentious public sites in Sydney. To deliver this project they developed the most innovative community engagement strategy ever undertaken in Australia utilising a world-leading interactive web tool www.callanparkyourplan.com.au. After 90,000 page views of feedback from 1,600 users and numerous community workshops, the team developed a master plan for a Wellness Sanctuary. The plan includes modern mental and physical health services with education and research in an historic landscape setting. The plan secures the future of Callan Park as a regionally significant public asset for Sydney's inner west.
The design of this project uses a simple, circular path, which can bring people into the woods. It launches conversations between human and nature, thus the checks and balances between them, the eternal theme of landscape architecture is revisited.
With an expansive lake view and a vast stretch of green grassland, the site, which is located along the shore of Taihu Lake in Suzhou New District, has attracted residents nearby and visitors from afar. By designing a bicycle and pedestrian route with the minimum impact on the surrounding vegetation and environment, the project tries to feature the geo-landscape with local materials and construction methods, and has managed to come up with a design in perfect harmony with its natural environment.
The Bottière Chênaie Project was rooted in the site's history and geography. Our work looks to express these attributes in order to anchor the project in the site, to position it as a single place. The park and the public spaces are in keeping with the framework of parcels from the past agricultural occupation.
During the construction process, the Ancient Kilns Park in Fuzhou faces dual problems of how to protect the site with limited use. In the process of design, landscape architects need both comprehensive professional knowledge and skills to achieve the goal of balancing and harmonizing the two major demands, especially upon the issues related to the protection of underground cultural relics, including site elevation, ancient trees rejuvenation and routes selection. Through efforts on all aspects, the Ancient Kilns Park presents a feature as the combination of ecological conservation and history and culture of the site.
The project poses a new linkage between resource extraction and post-war metal cycling economies, strengthening a livelihood that heals a war-scarred landscape. It proposes a strategy of "demining bombs by mining gold". The bomb-soaked landscape of Laos, which has 80 million unexploded bombs left over from the Vietnam War, provides an opportunity to rethink the processes of mining. Simultaneously, mineral exploration and excavation processes become mechanisms of rehabilitating and reconstructing the hazardous ground.
Despite the increasing number of borders and tensions in the rapidly globalizing world, designers’ understanding of the agency within the borders’ “construction-operation-deconstruction” process has been limited. Within this context, a brief reflection of how the new conceptual framework of “Border as Urbanism,” one which understands a border as a complex spatial condition that emerge from a series of continuous spatial negotiations is outlined. The origin, intention, and the larger background of the research are described. The evolving representations of borders in urbanism from an “object” to a “process” and current trends and conditions of borders within geopolitics are additionally unfolded. This then leads to how the “four lenses” of “History-Barrier- Flows-Global” are formulated as a result of this interdisciplinary synthesis, and this is applied to one of the most militarized, effective, closed border in the world, the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).